My 'Meller

I was watching the Oprah Show today thanks to the great inventions of our time (TiVo, or something like it). Oprah had Dr. Mehmet Oz as a guest on her show so that you could see inside your body, literally. There were about a dozen organs, some of which were in doubles so you could see "this is your brain on drugs, any questions?" only it was your body's various organs when you smoke, overeat, or stress yourself needlessly. It all reminded me of my anatomy and physiology class in college where I dissected an entire cat, a mouse, a lamb's kidney, and I believe a lamb's brain. I was also amazed that Oprah never commented on the smell of the organs as she had her face a few inches away because I could almost smell it through the damn television.

I found the most fascinating part of the show when they looked at the human brain. Dr. Oz mentioned that when you smell things, you don't actually process that with your brain, you use your lower brain where your emotions are stored, and that is the reason why you immediately start associating smells with memories. He said, "When you smell things, it hits you deep down. It hits your emotions."

As I have grown older, I realized that my sense of smell is very keen, and perhaps it is slightly better than those around me. I walked into the kitchen the other day as my mother was heating up some leftovers, but all I could smell was blueberries, and the scent was so strong to me. I started to sniff all around the room, and said, "I smell...I smell blueberry muffins or something." She started laughing and looked amazed and then admitted to having blueberry yogurt earlier. She also uttered something like, "Remind me to never fart in your vicinity."

I know exactly how every single one of my friends smell. I know their homes & their cars. I can even differentiate retail stores, especially ones I have worked in, even from a few years ago. I know the smell of the hotel I stay in at Atlanta. I can pick up the outdoors' scent on anyone who has stepped foot outside. When I'm at work, I know if coworkers are there just by the smells in the hallway, which is almost creepy. Nothing seems to escape me.

Ironically, I can't quite capture my own scent. The one compliment I receive the most is on my smell. I have a variety of perfumes, over twenty (conservative estimate there), and I have a habit of combining two at a time. One of my managers always greets me with his nose buried by my neck. He takes a deep breath and says, "You always smell so good!" It makes me laugh because I do that to just about any guy wearing cologne, only from a safe five feet, at least. I will walk by the men's counter to spray cologne on my finger and wipe it on my nose just so I can sniff the good stuff. I'm very addicted to smelling. In fact, of all five senses, that one might just be the greatest and richest for me. When people move into and out of my life, what I miss most is their smell.


Hasty Judgments

So, the girls that I rarely mingle with here, only because they seem to have their own clique, paid me a very nice compliment on my hair coloring. There was talk of it glistening in the sunlight and the rainbow of colors you can see. Evident in their commenting, I quickly realized my hair had been discussed at some length prior to our conversation. When they inquired as to where I went to get my hair done, and I stammered out another city that is six to seven hours away, they commented, "Are you joking with us?" For some reason, as soon as I have to answer such a question, I suddenly feel to need to start defending myself for the absurdity of driving so far for something as simple as hair care.

I have lived in Memphis for more than twenty years of my life. As a child, I had very straight hair, which I, of course, wanted permed. After ten or so years of perming, I became determined to make it past the dreadful growing out of my said perm, only to discover puberty had changed my hair to curls. So when straight was cool, my hair wasn't. After years of physically straightening my hair, I realize it just takes a lot more time. So, when I began paying for haircuts, I didn't think I should have to leave the salon embarrassed of my frizzy, wavy hair. Every one of my hairdressers would say they had cut the "weight" off of my hair, and that was simply as straight as it was going to get, which was bullshit.

When I went to Las Vegas, I decided to get a fancy, high-dollar hair cut in the Bellagio hotel. Of course, I had a wonderfully gay, talented hairdresser, and immediately swore an oath to honor him. He managed to straighten my hair better than I could and then remarked, "It's really not that curly." I was so impressed, I scheduled a hair color the next day just to have it styled again.

I traveled to Columbus, GA a few years back, and flew out of Atlanta. When I went to Lenox Mall, I eyed what would become my new salon. On my next trip back to Atlanta, I made a point to try it out. To my amazement, I learned the difference in a good haircut and a great haircut. After two trips, I found my magician, and her partner in crime, my colorist. My girls are best friends, roommates, and they work together. I love them dearly, and I make four to five trips yearly to see them. I think they have finally learned who I am, and two trips back, we discussed that I'm a rarely good tipper. Each time I go, I try to bring a friend with me to experience the place. I always tell them it's a little higher priced, and then I have to prepare them that I usually tip about fifty dollars to the three people that work on my hair. I tip them well because they do such a fabulous job. I think their creative talents shine through tremendously well, and for that, they should be appreciated.

So, all of this is to say that when people compliment my hair, it means so much to me. I can honestly say that I've had at least fifty compliments on my cut and/color since I've been going to my tag team, even one at a drive through. And yes, it's expensive & difficult to get there, but it makes me feel really good, and I get positive feedback. I see no downside to it.
The Gift of Sight

Lately, my eyes have been seeing double. I stare, and I blink, and press my eyelids tight in hopes that my contacts will flush and rest on my eyes properly, but nothing seems to help much. I can't get the clarity that I seek. There are no more sharp lines, just muted ones that blur into other colors. It's very frustrating. In fact, it just makes me want to close my eyes for good. I'm quite certain that fifteen years spent on a computer have worsened the effects. Combine that with the fact I spend at least another eight or nine hours each day now staring at a computer screen, and I should be blind in the next five years.

The other day, as I walked by some of the girls I work with to my car, I thought there was a pretty good chance they would notice me climbing into my car and not leaving. It's no secret that I covet a good car nap. Yesterday, the weather was a cool fifty degrees with the sun shining and the clearest of blue skies. I opened my sunroof, reclined my driver's seat, and listened to Tori Amos. I hold that as one of the best hours of my life.


Though I'm not talking about the "additional responsibilities" I received last week, I did manage to find myself another project. I just received more praise on a closet I cleaned out last week entailing the phrase "absolutely amazing." As I went from having my ass up in the air, kneeling on the ground, many people inquired on how I was so unlucky to receive such a task. I thought it was kind of funny because I could think of nothing better to do. Sometimes, I do believe, things about your personality must just shine through. I think people recognize my seemingly rare talent for organizing absolutely anything. People possess rare talents. I have a friend that likes to find missing things AND undo knots. Now either of those causes me to have an anxiety attack. I'm certain she was one of those kids who liked playing with a Rubix cube. I probably would have beaten her up as a child on mere principal.


My Mona Lisa

As a Taurus, I'm not really supposed to have a lot of friends. It goes against my social capabilities, actually. True to my sign, I think there are only a handful of people who know me, and as I grow older, I realize very, very few ever understand me. If you asked me to list my friends, I would be quick to panic thinking that I only have one, or perhaps, two. But sometimes, they come out of the woodwork, and it is a great blessing. I met up with an old girlfriend tonight that I had practically lost touch with in the past four years. We used to work together, and as a result, spent virtually every weekend together.

I had such a fabulous time with her tonight. There were things about her that remained just as I had remembered, and then there were things about her she had completely changed. We laughed about so many old times, which brought up more memories than I ever thought I had. I like tapping into my brain's resources like that. As I grow older, I realize how precious those things are. I need the triggers to make me realize that the dust hasn't settled on my life just yet. I have made people laugh once or twice, and this pleases me to no end. I never give much thought to how anyone will remember me. I think I've always been too concerned with what I allow them to see at the moment. I am always misinterpreted.

I want my friends to know that my heart swells with love for them even though I may never show it. I have it tucked away, some place deep and well protected. It's special to me because I don't show it. I treasure it like a secret that should only be whispered in the dark.


Belated Wishes

As I was picking my room up tonight, I came across a birthday card from this past May. I've been moving the card around my room because I have decided I'm going to frame it. On the front of the card is a black & white photograph of a cute, little kitten inside a pot. When you open the card, it reads, "For your birthday, I grew you a cat."

My friend added this:

Ok, I am lying. We both know that I can't even keep a cactus alive. On a more serious note, I think we are all in agreeance that this is a big day for you--a mildstone, if you will. You will soon be 25, a quarter-century old. It seems like just yesterday you were a feisty young lass of 24. How time flies!

I am at a loss for words and now find myself caught between a needle and a haystack. That a Chatty Cathy like me would be stricken mute truly is a paradoxical dichotomy. And now, I am making a last stitch effort to convey how much your friendship has enriched my life. May you have a lifetime of wonderful birthdays and never get jiffed on the presents.

Your Biggest Fan,
Operations Support

There are no less than ten inside jokes in that card, some of which can be noticed by anyone who enjoys the English language and peoples' misuse of it. And to top it off, she typed it in Andy font, which happens to be one of my favorites.

I have read that card more than twenty times, and each time, I smile. I hope my memory can hold onto each joke for many years to come. That would be an extra special birthday gift.


A Possible Reason to not be Bitter

I just inherited two new responsibilities at my job. I'm kind of happy about that because I've been complaining about persistent boredom...behind their backs.

Now, keep in mind, I may have to resort to being bitter again when I decide I don't like my new responsibilities. After all, it is common knowledge that the new girl always gets the shit no one else likes to do, and I don't want these people thinking they are pulling something over on me. I'm smarter than the average bear.


A Snip-it of My Consciousness

I'm doing that thing again where I've been talking in my head incessantly (because who can really stop that voice anyway?), and I walk by someone and they do the Southern thing and say "Hey," and I respond with the Southern thing and say, "Hey," only I whisper it so low that it's barely even audible to myself and as I walk away, that voice goes, "Hey, dummy, you're talking to them, not me. You have to speak up," which causes me to walk away with a furrow at the voice that has perfect hindsight and won't ever shut up.

Side note: My editing professor would have failed me for such a sentence.



I can remember loving someone so much, that I couldn't fathom how to express it. I wanted to be so close to them that it took everything in me to let them go. I memorized the tiniest of details about them, but the one I treasured the most, was their smell. The other night, before I fell asleep, as my thoughts bounced around, I found myself thinking of one of my exes, and for a split second, I could smell his house. I started to recall the smell of syrup and cool, morning breezes that swept through his parent's home. On Sundays, his father would cook maple sausage, which would linger in the house and always made me crave waffles or pancakes. They also had six large dogs that were mainly indoors, so they would shampoo their carpets and leave the windows open to dry them out. Their house was always so bright and cheerful. I smiled at these thoughts and inhaled again, but the smell was gone.

On Saturday, when my date picked me up & I got into his car, I could smell my ex's old 4-Runner. I didn't know if he was wearing the same cologne or it was something he used to clean his car. I inhaled until I couldn't smell it anymore. It relaxed and warmed me. I closed my eyes for a minute just to think of him. The memories felt so tangible.

He married shortly after we broke up and is now a father. When we see each other, there isn't a person in the room who could tell we even know one another. On occasion, when I have been forced to look at him, I look through him like a ghost. The pain from our break up was short lived, but somehow, it lingers ever so slightly. I haven't spoken to him in six years. There is a good chance he doesn't ever think of me, but sometimes, you don't realize where your thoughts will lead you, or in this case, certain scents.

"It was a beautiful letdown when I crashed and burned."--Switchfoot


The Dorkster, Known as Jeni

More thank likely, I should probably forgo this post, but I cannot help it. I work for a bank, and there is a huge amount of paperwork involved in every job I've held here. Recently, I moved to a new department (one that seems to be rather affluent as well), and they actually have a "file clerk." I asked my boss if this was all the girl did, and she said "Pretty much." I then asked if she was an unhappy individual, and she said, "No, not at all." I, personally, could think of very few things more unfulfilling that filing.

Anyhow, I try to keep my crap extremely neat because I have to in order to keep me from going nuts. Here, everything is filed in numerical account order, which consists of ten numbers. It makes it hard to file or at least harder than by names. I was told I could take my work to the file clerk at any time, but I shouldn't let it pile up. (The person telling me this has no concept of how I work. There would never be piles on my desk. Ugh.) So, I keep all my work stapled, paperclipped, holes punched, and in numerical order already, hopefully thinking this would have to make the file clerk's job just a tiny bit easier.

So, today, I get this e-mail:

"Jeni, I want to thank you for how you bring me your paperwork already in order and very neatly. Just want you to know I do appreciate it."

Is that not the sweetest e-mail ever?! I cannot stop grinning. I may have to go give her a big hug, which is a lot for me because I don't usually touch people.


Late Night Surprises

Okay, so it's way past my bedtime, but I just couldn't suppress the zeal. An old girlfriend of mine called me today. She mentioned she had someone she wanted me to meet because she thinks we would just be "great together." Within minutes, I was looking at a stranger's picture, which wasn't too shabby. A few e-mails and phone calls later, and I was giving her permission to pass along my phone number. I had completely forgotten about this transaction until I was getting ready to hop into the bed.

He actually called me, and I must give him credit for not sounding like an idiot on my machine. I'm not one of those new-agers with voicemail. He only got one shot to make his message good, which would have paralyzed a girl like myself. There would have been a lot of Homer Simpson's doh's going on if I had to be a boy. I'm rather flattered.

It should also be noted that when I asked what was wrong with this cute, nice, single boy, my girlfriend replied "Nothing." So when I said, "If this doesn't work out--" she cut me off with a "Well, then, that is going to be your fault." I congratulated her for applying more pressure because the mere mention of the set up was enough to turn my stomach into a concrete block.

I'm also kicking myself for not buying this in Atlanta when I should have. That is definitely good dating material and probably a good conversation piece as well.


"I fear, I have nothing to give."

I've had a number of events to bring me down lately. So many small blows that I've caught myself just wanting to huddle in the corner and sob the misery away--something I have been incapable of doing in the past few years. I miss the girl I used to be. Somehow, I let logic and practicality rule everything I do my life, and I'm growing weary of it. There are things I have wanted to cry over--that I would have cried over--that I just can't cry over. For instance, I found out a co-worker of mine is HIV positive. He's been sick for a few weeks and he remarked, "It's either the beginning of the end, or the end of the beginning." When I heard he was sick, my heart received the news like someone had just told me the temperature outside. My only reaction was a head nod. I care for this co-worker deeply. From my very first shift with him two years ago, where I stood beside him and laughed until my cheeks hurt, I fell madly in love with his artless charisma. He can put a smile on anyone's face, and he does it so effortlessly. I remember thinking there was something so special about him that I thought it radiated from him. I think the world will be robbed of something magical if this disease decides to take his life.

To make matters worse, my closest girlfriend just moved away. I don't think I've been sad that she is gone, but everyone keeps asking me if I'm sad, which makes me think I must be missing something because I wasn't the least bit upset. And if I dig deep enough, I wonder if that is just another indication of what a shitty human being I've turned into. I usually respond to emotional situations with a logical backing telling me that this event is supposed to make me sad. In a certain sense, everything is contrived that comes from me. When she told me she was indeed moving, there was this slight bit of relief. I thought that any part of me that would indeed miss her would just have to adapt to life without her. In essence, I would be become more independent, and her absence quickly became a "healthy" challenge.

I have another friend that seems to be pushing me away, but I can't wrap my brain around why. Who he chooses to let in his life has always boggled my mind. I had become accustomed to being the only one who called, but lately, he never called back. After intense measures, I pinned him down. He remarked that he was surprised I showed up, and to be honest, it took me a little while to figure out what he really meant when he said that. I'm pretty much a person of my word, so I didn't understand or really process his comment at the time he said it. After fifteen minutes of my sarcastic cries for returned love, I realized I wasn't going to get any. His reactions to seeing me were very different. As we sat at the dinner table, I thought that this was probably the last time I would ever see him. I could no longer hold up the conversation, and I fell into a deep silence. I couldn't even look at him anymore. I wanted to shout things to hurt him only because I knew he was hurting me. After a long period of silence, he said, "Your not the only one." I lifted my eyes to meet his and pretended to not know what he was meaning. I said, "The only one what?" to which he said, "That I haven't talked to." I know he was trying to tell me that it wasn't necessarily meant to hurt me, but I couldn't grasp why one of the few people who's helped you keep your sanity--possibly your life--is one that you can't be around. He opens and closes his heart so quickly. Even though I can relate to him, and my heart is usually bolted shut, my endearing logic wouldn't ever let me run someone off.